Las Vegas Poker: Our Aria Poker Room Review
I play at Aria multiple times per week. There are many reasons I play so much poker at Aria, which I will divulge in this review. But in my honest opinion, Aria’s poker room is not only the best in Las Vegas. It’s the best poker room in the United States. You simply cannot find a more enjoyable and profitable place to play poker in the US, and here’s why…
General Poker Room Information
Comps: $2 per hour ($3 per hour between 5:00 and 10:00 AM)
Daily Tournaments: $125 buy-in (1:00 and 7:00 PM, 10,000 in chips)
Bad Beat Jackpot: None
Number of Tables: 24 (plus an additional tournament room available)
Cash Games Played: Limit and No-Limit at all levels, hold ‘em, PLO, Stud, etc.
Aria has daily tournaments that attract anywhere between 50-120 players. The 1:00 tournament brings in more players than the 7:00 tournament. Both have favorable blind structures (30 minute blind levels with 10,000 starting chips). Should you decide to play in either tournament, you should expect to play for at least 8 hours if you make it to the final table.
Cash games at Aria are generally loose. At most tables there are a few solid players, a few donkeys and a few players that play the nuts exclusively. The players at Aria aren’t usually as loose as what you will find at some of the inferior poker rooms, but there are plenty of tourists with a lot of money that aren’t very good at poker.
What I Love Most About the Poker Room at Aria
I’ve logged more than a thousand hours of poker at Aria over the past year or so and I can safely say there’s not much to dislike. Aria is one of the most comfortable poker rooms you will find, which might seem odd considering it’s always packed. The chairs are very comfy and the room temperature is almost always perfect. One thing many Las Vegas poker rooms lack is friendly, skilled dealers. Aria does not. The dealers at Aria – with rare exception – are good conversationalists and know what they’re doing.
Of course, having comfortable chairs and friendly dealers is only part of what makes a poker room great. The most important factor is the ability to make money. There is plenty of opportunity to make good money playing poker at Aria regardless of the game you play. Even the $1-$3 no-limit hold ‘em game is profitable if you are skilled. There’s plenty of action in that game. Aria has arguably the best $2-$5 NLH game in Las Vegas. But I might suggest buying in for the maximum ($500) and bringing at least 2 buy-ins to the table. This is an action game with many ups and downs. But if you are patient you can make a killing.
The daily tournaments at Aria are as good as you will find in Las Vegas. Only Venetian has comparable daily tournaments. There are tons of skilled players in these tournaments, but more than half of the players are clueless. I usually avoid confrontations with the other skilled players in these tournaments and pounce on the donkeys that will shove with anything that resembles a decent hand. One final reason to love Aria’s poker room is getting to see and play with celebrities and top poker players. Jose Canseco plays here frequently, as do many of the most famous poker players in the world (Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Eli Elezra, Jean Robert-Bellande, Johnny Chan, etc.).
Grading the Aria Poker Room on a 1 to 10 Scale
Room Comfort Level: 10
Quality of Opponents: 8
Daily Tournaments: 10
Profitable Cash Games: 8
Las Vegas Rank: 1st
Next time you are in Las Vegas, you absolutely must spend at least some time playing poker at Aria. In my opinion, it is the best poker room in the country. There’s nothing to dislike about this place. They have an exceptional staff (dealers, floor managers, cocktail waitresses, etc), they keep the room clean and cozy, and there is plenty of opportunity to make money playing cash games of all levels and tournaments.